Uday Tatkare waited for a year-and-a-half for this day. When it did arrive, he was no longer around to see it.
56-year-old Tatkare, the chief fire officer who died of a massive heart attack while he was on his way home from a meeting at the civic headquarters on Thursday evening, was to be promoted on Friday.
Tatkare’s posting had not been permanent as yet.
A proposal to make his posting permanent was to be taken up in Friday’s meeting of the civic works committee (city). Civic officials and corporators are now privately questioning the delay in considering the proposal.
Tatakre’s promotion would have officially made him the head of the Mumbai fire brigade in civic records, and would have entitled him to better retirement benefits and his family to better benefits after his death.
Mrudula Kulkarni, municipal secretary said, “This proposal was to be tabled before the civic works committee on Friday. After being passed in the committee, the decision was to be ratified by the civic corporation in its meeting on May 2.”
Committee chairman and Sena corporator Anil Pawar said, “Its very unfortunate that his death took place just a day before he was to be promoted. However, we fail to understand why the administration had to wait so long to moving the proposal.”
A senior fire official, on condition of anonymity said, “A fine officer like him should not have been denied this honour.”
Tatkare was on his way home from work, in his official car, at the time of the incident.
He was brought to KEM hospital at 6.45 pm and was put in the intensive care unit, where the doctors tried to save him, but they were unsuccessful.
Tatkare is the second CFO to die while on duty. In October 1999, then CFO VV Rao had died following a cardiac arrest in the civic headquarters.
Tatkare took over as CFO on October 21, 2009 and had played a crucial role during the rescue operations at the Taj hotel, during the 26/11 terror attacks.
Tatkare joined the fire brigade on October 3, 1978. Under him, the fire brigade achieved many firsts. Last month, the fire brigade got its first ever women firefighters.
A few days ago, he had also spoken of introducing female lifeguards at beaches.
Tatkare is survived by his wife and teenaged daughter.